Abstract

Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising energy conversion technology due to its high energy density and zero greenhouse gas emission. As a result, the production of hydrogen from renewable and alternative resources has gained significant interest in recent decades. This paper demonstrates a new approach which uses a pyroelectric energy harvester for water splitting and represents a novel alternative hydrogen source. Pyroelectrics are attractive for harvesting waste heat due to their ability to convert temperature fluctuations into electrical energy. A range of pyroelectric materials and geometries for water electrolysis are analysed to determine, (i) the minimum material thickness to generate a critical potential to initialise water decomposition and, (ii) to maximize the charge and hydrogen mass production. We then successfully demonstrate that an appropriate pyroelectric material, when combined with rectification of the alternating current, can harvest heat fluctuations and generate a sufficient electric potential difference and current for water splitting. By harvesting the pyroelectric electrical energy, a continuous hydrogen bubble production was observed during thermal cycling. Practical routes to maximize the level of hydrogen production for this new concept are also explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23437-23445
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume42
Issue number37
Early online date6 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2017

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water splitting
Energy harvesting
Hydrogen
hydrogen
electric power
Water
hydrogen fuels
waste heat
Hydrogen fuels
Harvesters
energy
Waste heat
greenhouses
energy conversion
hydrogen production
Thermal cycling
rectification
electrolysis
Hydrogen production
Gas emissions

Cite this

Pyroelectric energy harvesting for water splitting. / Xie, Mengying; Dunn, S.; Le Boulbar, Emmanuel; Bowen, C. R.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 42, No. 37, 14.08.2017, p. 23437-23445.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Xie, Mengying ; Dunn, S. ; Le Boulbar, Emmanuel ; Bowen, C. R. / Pyroelectric energy harvesting for water splitting. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 2017 ; Vol. 42, No. 37. pp. 23437-23445.
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